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The first application of plutonium: the nuclear bomb.

Plutonium is perhaps the most feared element on the entire periodic table.

It is known to be the main ingredient in atomic bombs such as the infamous Fat Man dropped on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, which ended up killing 70,000 people. Japan surrendered six days later, but the threat of nuclear annihilation trapped the world for decades in the Cold War.

However, the plutonium story is not all about Armageddon or the threat of the apocalypse. It also has to do with the incredible journey into the unknown.

You’ve probably heard or read the phrase «Houston we have a problem.» That’s what Commander Jim Lovell told NASA’s command center on Earth moments after Apollo 13 was rocked by an explosion.